Professor Susan Joiner (centre) and her class used the occasion of a book launch last Saturday to hold a reunion.
More than three years ago, Susan Joiner asked her class in Applied Human Sciences to write about what had marked them in their journey toward adulthood. The results, written by women from a wide range of backgrounds, were so poignant that Joiner decided to publish them as a book.
It took a while to put together, but the launch of Tapestry of Adulthood: Stories by The Full Moon Collective last Saturday was something of a reunion for these 26 women, who have gone on to be counsellors, caregivers and scholars, among other things.
Here are two samples from the book:
"[On one occasion during my second pregnancy,] I was in a room full of people. It was while I was standing there and talking to someone that it happened. The baby started moving about. Even though I had felt this before, the baby's movement for some reason made me stop being a part of the group. I started to tune out of the conversation and focus on what was happening inside of me. I felt so special, so womanly, so involved with this tremendous secret. Nothing else mattered. I was in communion with my child at that moment in time."
"My adult life has been a series of taking stands that have resulted in both positive and negative consequences for me and for my family. . . I have little tolerance for anyone who treats anyone else differently than they would treat themselves. Although I am deeply committed to Judaism on a cultural level, I take issue with the inequality shown to Jewish women in religious ceremonies. I refuse to attend synagogue when I am not allowed to sit with my husband. . . I refuse to allow a child or elderly person standing in line to be passed over and ignored. I cannot ignore a situation at work where the soft-spoken employee is taken advantage of because of her kind disposition. I think it is the intervention into daily occurrences of small injustices that I feel most proud of."